Article I – Name
This Association shall be known as the Georgia Association of Professional Process Servers, hereinafter referred to as GAPPS.
Article II – Purpose
To promote, upgrade and perpetuate the processing serving industry through the following objectives:
Section 1. Promoting legislation and rules which will advance and professionalize the industry.
Section 2. Combating legislation and rules which may harm the industry.
Section 3. Promoting and maintaining professional and ethical standards for the industry.
Section 4. Improving relations between the industry and the legal community – attorneys, judges, clerks and officers of the court – and the general public.
Article III – Membership
Section 1. Classes of membership and reauirements for membership shall be defined by the Board of Directors. All members agree to abide by the Bylaws and Code of Ethics of GAPPS as a condition of membership.
Section 2. Membership in GAPPS shall be open to all persons who are affiliated with the profession of process. Membership is approved on an individual basis and is not traansferable.
Section 3. All applications for membership must be completed in full on a form approved by the Board of Directors. Each application shall be accompanied by the appropriate fees at the time of the application as prescribed by the Board of Directors. These funds shall be deposited in an escrow account until the application is either approved or rejected.
Section 4. Membership shall not be granted to any person who has been convicted of a felony unless such conviction was officially pardoned or the record thereof has been expunged. In addition, membership shall not be granted to any applicant who has had their license, permit or right to serve process revoked by any issuing authority, unless said revocation has been pardoned or the record thereof expunged. Any convictions or revocations described in this section that are more than five years old shall not be grounds for denial of membership.
Section 5. No person shall be denied membership because of their color, religion, sex or ethnic origin.
Article IV – Dues
Section 1. The annual dues shall be determined by the majority vote of the membership at the annual conference and shall remain in effect until changed.
Section 2. The fiscal year covering the payment of dues shall be January 1 to December 31.
Section 3. A member whose dues have not been paid by January 31 of any year shall be considered delinquent. If the dues have not been paid by the last day of February of that year, membership shall be forfeited. Reinstatement shall be allowed on the terms and conditions as approved by the Board of Directors.
Article V – Election of Officers and Directors
Section 1. The officers shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. The term of each officer shall be from annual meeting to annual meeting.
Section 2. With the exception of the years 2002 and 2003, no member shall be eligible to be an officer or director until they have been a member for one year.
Section 3. The immediate past president shall serve one year as a director on the Board of Directors.
Section 4. Three (3) directors shall be elected unless the current president is re-elected, in which event four (4) directors shall be elected.
Section 5. Officers shall be elected by majority vote of members present at the annual meeting. Remaining directors shall be elected in a single ballot with each member casting one vote for each seat to be filled. There shall be no cumulative voting and members may not vote for the same nominee for more than one seat. Ballots reflecting such votes shall be void as to such seats for which votes have been made for the same nominee. Nominees receiving the highest plurality of votes will fill all seats in order of total votes received. Majority vote shall not be required. No proxies shall be allowed.
Section 6. No members shall hold the office of President for more than two (2) consecutive terms.
Section 7. A vacancy in any office or directorship shall be filled by the Board of Directors.
Article VI – Duties of Officers
Section 1. The administration and management of GAPPS shall be controlled by the Board of Directors consisting of all the officer and directors. They shall have the authority to do any and all things necessary for the adminstration and management of GAPPS. Decisions shall be reached by majority vote of the Board of Directors members present. No proxy voting shall be allowed.
Section 2. The President shall preside at all meetings, shall make all appointments that are deemed necessary to administer GAPPS, and shall submit at the annual meeting an annual report describing programs and actions by the Board of Directors.
Section 3. The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the office of president whenever the President is unable to do so.
Section 4. The Secretary shall cause to be recorded the minutes of all Board meetings and the annual meeting.
Section 5. The Treasurer shall be responsible for overseeing all fiscal policies and procedures adopted by the Board of Directors.
Section 6. A petition, signed by members representing fifteen (15) persent of the total votes eligible to vote at that time in GAPPS requesting the holding of an election for the purpose of recalling a member of the Board of Directors or any officer, may be filed at any time with the Secretary. If recall is for the Secretary, the petition shall be filed with the President. After verification of signatures, the President shall certify the petition and immediately direct a ballot be mailed to each member. The ballot shall read as follows:
Shall –name of director– Be Recalled?
A “yes” vote shall be counted as for the recall and a “no” vote shall be counted as against the recall. Only members in good standing shall be entitled to vote at such election. Such a recall shall require two-thirds affirmative vote of executed ballots received by the Secretary or President within fifteen (15) days. if the recall is successful the Board may fill the vacancy at its next meeting.
Article VII – Discipline
Section 1. The Board of Directors shall adopt procedures for arbitration and grievance. All members are bound by the arbitration and grievance procedures as adopted by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may, in its sole discretion, approve or disapprove any penalties recommended by an arbitration or grievance committee, including but not limited to revocation of membership, suspension of membership and monetary assessments.
Section 2. Membership may be suspended or terminated by the Board of Directors for violations of these By-laws and/or Code of Ethics. No member may be expelled or suspended and no membership terminated or suspended except pursuant to a procedure which is fair and reasonable, and is carried out in good faith.
Section 3. A member will not be expelled, suspended or terminated without first receiving written notice of the reasons therefor. Said written notice shall be provided to the member not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the effective date of the expulsion, suspension or termination. Not less than five (5) days prior to the effective date of the expulsion, suspension, or termination, said member shall have the opportunity to be heard before the Board of Directors, either orally or in writing. The Board of Directors are authorized to decide that the proposed expulsion, suspension, or termination should not take place, or that such action is fair and reasonable taking into consideration all the relevant facts and circumstances. Any written notice given by mail must be given by First Class or Certified Mail sent to the last address of the member shown on GAPPS’ records. A member who has been expelled or suspended, or whose membership has been terminated may be liable to GAPPS for dues, assessments, or fees as a result of obligations incurred prior to the terminating activity.
Article VIII – Meetings
Section 1. An annual meeting shall be held at a site chosen by the Board of Directors. Officers’ reports, committee reports and any new or old business shall be discussed at the meeting.
Section 2. Board of Director meetings shall be called by the President. A Board meeting must be called within thirty (30) days if requested by three (3) members of the Board of Directors, or if petitioned for by a majority of the members. The membership shall be notified of all regularly scheduled Board of Director meetings.
Section 3. Special meetings of the Board may be held by mail or telecommunications.
Section 4. Members shall be admitted to all meetings and conferences except executive sessions. Non-members may be admitted to all meetings and conferences unless disapproved by a majority of the members present. Only meetings involving the personal affairs of any individual or involving issues deemed confidential by a majority vote of the Board of Directors present may be held in executive session.
Section 5. Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of all meetings.
Article IX – By-Law Amendments
Section 1. Proposed by-law amendments must be submitted to the Secretary not less than sixty (60) days prior to the date of the annual meeting and published to the membership not less than thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting. The Secretary shall cause the proposed by-law amendments or revisions to be published to the membership in the Association Newsletter ;, on the GAPPS web site and/or by other reasonable means not less than thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting.
Section 2. The by-laws may be amended or revised by an affirmative two-thirds vote of the membership present at the annual meeting.
Section 3. By-law amendments or revisions may be acted upon only at the time published in the agenda for the annual meeting, unless a majority of the membership present at that time agree to a late time for further action thereon.
Section 4. The by-laws may also be amended or revised by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors.